Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Half Time at Occupy Wall Street

It's Half Time, at Occupy Wall Street, and the people spreading propaganda for Wall Street want you to believe that this child is trying to steal your jobs!

(First posted on Open Salon February 10 2012)

They think we’re stupid enough to believe that it is the poor people who are also at the mercy, or lack of mercy, of the business community are the ones that are responsible for the problems in our society today.
They don’t think that we can figure out the fact that when they talk about competing in the global economy they don’t mean that everyone should compete, only the poor and those without much if any political power. The government has allowed the corporations to merge into a small number of oligarchies that clearly aren’t competing anymore to provide good products or services to the consumer, although they pretend they are. Yet local workers are forced to compete with sweat shop laborers half way around the world. These sweat shops ensure that workers including children often work in atrocious conditions as has been indicated by many researchers; however there are several propagandists that routinely argue that Sweatshops are actually a necessity because the alternative is worse.

This argument wasn’t considered acceptable in the USA fifty to a hundred years ago when workers worked to eliminate these abuses in the USA and the quality of the conditions as well as the products gradually improved as a result of the actions of those that stood up to the corporations. They were able to do this without giving the shaft to the consumers. Part of the reason for this was due to improved technology and the fact that the factories were local and there were less shipping and administration costs to pass on to the consumers. Another part of the reason for this is that prior to the labor movement there were already unnecessary corporate bureaucratic expenses involved in suppressing worker rights; these included the hiring of armed guards and the expense to import foreign labor that was willing to work cheaper; they didn’t pay these workers what they were worth but they did have to pay to transport them.

In the past three decades or so the corporations have been steadily increasing the amount of money they’ve been donating to campaigns; at the same time the corporations have been allowed to merge into oligarchies. This includes the Mass Media which is now in the hands of no more than five or six corporations that control the vast majority of the media that can address a large audience. When the corporations were allowed to merge into monopolies in the late nineteenth century the people were outraged, and rightfully so. Senator John Sherman realized that he had to appease the public or they would lose all credibility as indicated in the following excerpt from Peter Irons.

The same year the Court handed down the Chicago, Milwaukee decision, congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which reflected “populist” pressure to break up the giant monopolies that dominated the American economy. The Sherman Act made it illegal to form a “combination or conspiracy” to restrain trade in interstate or foreign commerce. Senator John Sherman, the act’s sponsor, warned his colleagues that failing to curb the monopolies would give ammunition to those who railed against their power. “You must heed their appeal or be ready for the socialist, the communist, the nihilist,” he said. “Society is now disturbed by forces never felt before.”…. e.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.243)
This act was rarely, if ever, enforced to the best interest of the majority of the public, especially when the public becomes complacent as they have for the past couple of decades; however when the public has stood up for their rights they have often ensured that they were protected much better.

In the nineties the Mass Media was doing more to report on sweatshops this but then after they merged together and the attacks on 9/11 happened there has hardly been any mention of it at all, not that there was ever as much attention as there should have been.

The use of sweatshop labor has come at a high cost and it turns out that the consumers don’t actually get any savings from it at all; they just get the lower quality of merchandise that comes along with it. I’m sure the corporations will dispute that but there are plenty of facts that are clear to anyone that is paying attention to what is going on that clearly indicate this is true.

A large portion of that is the evidence of an enormous amount of expenses that do little or nothing to improve the quality of life for the majority; although these activities often increase the profits for the corporations at the expense of the majority.

When they ship jobs overseas they increase the cost of shipping and they have to spend more money on subcontractors.

At times when the sweatshops have been exposed to the public the corporations spent more money on public relations.

That’s right instead of fixing the problem they spent money to figure out how to convince us that the problem has been fixed.

The cost of advertising has been going through the roof due to the fact that the more they use them, the less impact it has on the consumers and they stop paying attention to it. This also serves the purpose of flooding the information market with so much corporate propaganda that the public has no way of getting any accurate information about the products that they buy. When the supreme Court declared that “money equals speech” they esentualy said that the truth is for sale if you have enough money and you know how to run a good propaganda campaign but if you want to get the truth out you can only tell a tiny handful of people.
According to some investigators like Naomi Klein author of "No Logo" the sweatshops are often in armed camps where the workers have to show their ID before coming in and they have little or no rights. The armed guards must be paid and there are many other expenses that come with keeping this secret, or at least trying to keep it secret.

The congress and many states have passed plenty of laws protecting corporate secrecy, often referred to as proprietary information, which is by definition a conspiracy (explained further in this blog); this is designed to ensure that the corporations have the information they need to make their decisions but the consumers and the workers don’t; it also enables them to hide an enormous amount of corrupt activity including price fixing and planned obsolescence that costs consumers hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars every year.
They hire sales analysts that study drops in sales when they reduce the quality of merchandise so that they can avoid doing so when it impacts profits. This enables them to increase the amount of planned obsolescence in the most effective way possible without being noticed by the consumer. If they were required to disclose this information rese4archers could alert the consumers to this fraud long before it reaches epidemic proportions; instead complacent consumers get used to the gradual reduction in quality that is almost unnoticed until it is taken to a bizarre extreme which it has been.

You would think they would learn a lesson any teenager knows when they take their parents liquor and water it down a little. If you only do it in moderation they might not notice but if you do it too much it will be obvious. Perhaps the people at the top hear about something that works and don’t want to hear the details so they just demand more and more to increase profits.

One way or another planned obsolescence has reached epidemic levels. Sneakers that used to last two years now routinely fall apart in under six months; toasters and coffee makers that used to last longer than most people could remember, probably over ten years, now often break in two years or less; and there is much more right across the board they even water down dog food!

I’m going to sic my dog on them if they keep doing this!!

They wouldn’t be able to do this if they were truly required to compete with other corporations that had the resources to manufacture good products but they don’t.

One of the methods they use to ensure that they don’t have to compete is the mega store charge what they call slotting fees which means that the manufacturer has to pay a fee to get their product on the shelf. This drives up prices and it ensure that many small businesses can’t get started and the oligarchies can control the system without respecting the rights of workers or consumers.

They also use market power to intimidate the suppliers they do have not to supply any company that might under cut them with prices. There are many other ways they manage to rig the system to enable them to commit fraud against the consumers and workers; all in secrecy thanks to the laws passed by government that deprive the majority of the information they need to have to stand up for their rights.

These laws are of course passed in return for bribes thinly disguised as campaign contributions; Even Jimmy Carter admits they’re bribes or technically “legal bribes,” in his White House Diaries. Jimmy Carter was referring to the health care industry which he says, accurately, can’t be reformed under the current system. A large portion of the money collected for health care premiums goes to non-health related costs, including advertising, lobbying etc., as a result of this and the same thing is of course done in just about any other industry that donates to campaigns.

Officially this is legal as long as there is not “quid pro quo;” unofficially the proprietary information laws are designed to guarantee that even if there is the public has no way of knowing and the corporations have become quite good at wink and nod tactics that don’t provide evidence admissible in court but still get their points across.

The Supreme Court has of course ruled that money equals speech; this doesn’t change the fact that money is also used for bribes so bribes are protected by the first amendment thanks to this incredibly corrupt ruling.
The truth doesn’t receive nearly as much protection!

Adbusters, the same organization that helped organize Occupy Wall Street protests have created what they call "uncommercials" for television that accuse the beauty industry of causing eating disorders, attack North American over consumption, and urge everyone to trade their cars in for bikes. This was reported in “No Logo” by Naomi Klein, most televisions refused to air them; this is also confirmed on many sites including this article at the University of Texas. there are many other things that the Mass Media simply refuses to air whether they’re paid for or not that would be in the best interest of the public. Some of this should require payment at all since they get access to the air ways free and they’re supposed to provide a public service in return for that gift from the congress. This public service is supposed to include some form of educational material for the public but the public has no say in what constitutes education; the corporations have total control over that. They refuse to air anything that challenges their ideology like the research that Roy Fox did into the indoctrination that Channel One is doing to kids in schools reported in his book “Harvesting Minds” (Blog review) or similar work provided by Susan Linn author of “Consuming Kids;” the only thing allowed on the airways are the ideas that support corporate ideology. This Media consolidation is protected by the congress in return for a system that rigs the information the public gets to make decisions about political activity and ensures that the current political establishment stays in power without real challenges.
The Mass Media dictates which candidates are eligible for higher office simply by refusing to give any air time to anyone that doesn’t accommodate their ideology.

The public has no control over this process.

It’s Half Time at Occupy Wall Street and the political establishment is hoping that the public won’t figure these things out and discuss them about themselves.

They’re hoping that the Occupy Wall Street protestors will go way now that they’ve had their time in the spotlight.

They’re hoping that if they continue protesting the media can minimize reporting on it and act as if it is all over some trivial thing that doesn’t really matter.

Obama is smiling!


Could it be that he has collected more money from Wall Street than any other sitting president and he is going up against someone that appears even worse than him?

For one reason or another the republican campaign for the nomination has turned into an absurd joke that isn’t very funny. Mitt Romney is the candidate the establishment has chosen for one reason or another and they’re paying out big money to ensure that he wins; although it may not always seem that way. However by the time he gets the nomination he’ll look like the biggest clown running for president in a long time.

Now that Rick Santorum has won four states Mitt will almost certainly unleash an enormous amount of advertising to destroy him as a candidate. This will also taint Mitt more than he is already tainted. By the time he is done winning the nomination his horrendous reputation might be even worse.

This might set the stage for a Obama Landslide and since he is a shoe in he shouldn’t need to abandon his opposition to the super-pacs; yet he is.

Remember Barack Obama’s promise about putting on some “comfortable shoes” and walking the picket line himself?

Remember how he kept that promise?

Then he objected to the super-pacs when it suited his purposes but now he’s abandoning that one as well; there will be plenty more promises between now and election day. And while he is making those promises he’ll also be collecting an enormous amount of money from the corporations who are the only ones that have enough money to finances campaigns as expensive as modern elections.

They don’t donate for charitable purposes; despite the public relations propaganda they may give the public.
When corporations spend this much money it is for investment purposes.

Unless Barack Obama has some magical way of increasing the profits of the corporations they will be counting on him to provide their return in some other manner.

Does anyone really believe that he is going to do it without rigging the system, as usual, so that the corporations can increase their profits at the expense of the consumers and the workers?

It's Half Time at Occupy Wall Street and I suspect that whether or not the corporations like it they haven’t seen the last of Occupy Wall Street. Apparently they have organized a new "Flash Occupation" at several Wall Street bank branches and they may have many other ideas whether they’re the ones I suggested in Occupy Wall Street Cash Register Protests or Loud Complaints bringing quick replacements for shoddy merchandise or they come up with something else of their own. Adbusters has made it clear already that they’re calling for a Month long Occupy Chicago protest; and I’m sure that they’ll have plenty of protest planned for the democratic and republican conventions.

The Democrats may make some attempt to pretend that they represent the best interest of the Occupy Wall Street protestors; however I doubt if they’ll be able to fool more than a few people in the long run and many won’t be fooled even in the short run. They’ll probably use their allies at MSNBC to invite a few token Occupy Wall Street protestors to speak on their media outlets but they will almost certainly be very careful about who they choose and how much they allow them to say. There is a strong possibility that they will attempt to encourage a handful to propose a modest amount of reform and take credit for it then declare the reform to be complete.

This won’t work!

They’ve tried it before with some success at times but too many people know about this tactic.
If that reform is a starting point that would be one thing then we can come back for more but if they want some commitment that they can end the protests without real reform that addresses the majority of the problems they can’t have it.

They have made it clear that they’re going to carry on their protests that are designed to stick up for democracy whether it is legal or not; there should be no doubt about the legality of it though since the constitution protects democratic participation, or at least it is supposed to. However the establishment routinely passes laws that interfere with the right to protest when it suits their purpose; yet they don’t do anything to stand up to the corporations that donate to campaigns when they conduct illegal or corrupt activity that costs consumers and workers billions if not trillions of dollars a year.

The Supreme Court and the political establishment has made it clear that their idea of democracy is to allow the rich and only the rich to participate while the rest of us should accept the distorted propaganda that they continue to provide us.

Those that are concerned about the best interest of child laborers forced to work in sweat shops (photos and additional articles) , child victims of land mines, other peace advocates that expose the lies that we keep fighting wars or, people that are trying to prevent an environmental apocalypse (blog) or anyone else that has interests that contradict the short term profits of the campaign contributors have little or no say in the way our government is run.

While it is true that when they rally around a cause for a little while they can prevent the government from implementing even more corrupt laws like when they prevented SOPA and PIPA (blog) from passing and they can also encourage some additional improvements on social issues when they try as soon as they become complacent while no one is paying attention the congress is always trying to overturn or gradually erode everything that protects the public from corporate corruption.

One way or another the corporations want to get their money back from their investment in the campaigns; whether they donated to Barack Obama or hedged their bets with Mitt Romney they win if the public believes the corporate lie that we have to choose from these two candidates or waste our vote. If people accept this lie then the corporations will win and they will continue to have the opportunity to escalate their epidemic levels of consumer fraud… .assuming something else doesn’t interfere with their plans. Ideally we should try to get a sincere independent candidate elected to the presidency if possible and elect as many independent congressmen as possible as part of an effort to implement real Election Reform controlled by the public; but if they manage to cheat and elect one of the candidates that have been bought and paid for by the corporations then there are still other options. They still have to rely on the ninety nine percent to do all the work and there are plenty of ways to interfere with the system and we will have a rematch.

Scanner has already discussed whether or not Clint Eastwood intended to endorse Barack Obama with his ad at the Superbowl in “Did Dirty Harry Change the Game;” I don’t know what Clint Eastwood intended. If he wanted to do something that would inspire real benefits for the majority then he would have to have done it somewhere else or the corporations would have censored him and banned him from the Superbowl; I don’t know whether he would want people to run with it but I suspect he wouldn’t have any objection. Apparently he said, “If any Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.” I’m guessing he meant to include bloggers too; if not he can sue me.

Breaking news, the Occupy movement has just been exposed for paying the protestors according to this article, ‘Turf-tastic: “Occupy” protester says he was paid $60 to protest CPAC, therefore everything I wrote yesterday is wrong!
No wait a minute; the article doesn’t actually seem to address anything I wrote at all; nor does it explain a lot of other things! 

Where did they get the money to pay all these protestors?

Wages have been stagnating and the unions have enough trouble on their hands keeping up with all the expenses they already have. I wasn’t involved in this protest; however if I think about how I would go about it if I was it is hard to imagine taking this option seriously. It costs a lot of money and it would be pretty clear that there is little if any chance that it would work due to the fact that the propagandists for the corporations would be all over it as this coverage seems to indicate.

This seems much more like a variation of the agent provocateur tactics that the corporations have used in the past; however there seems to be one potential problem with it.

In order for this to work it would have to seem reasonably credible.
It isn’t!

This means that if the goal is either one of these two options it was done by highly incompetent people. It seems to me that it is far more likely that it was done by a fanatical and incompetent arm of the corporations than the possibility that it was done by the Occupy Wall Street movement; although I have no way of proving it.

If this is actually an intelligent way of accomplishing some kind of goal what could they be trying to accomplish?

It is hard to imagine how they could accomplish anything intelligent by doing this; however regardless of who did this or why it will provide an opportunity for sociologists and psychologists to study the way people react to this after the fact and find out just how many people actually believe this.

Judging by the responses to the comment section of the article sited there are an enormous amount of people that are going along with it whether they believe it or not. If they believe this report they have to be among the most thoroughly indoctrinated people out there that have fallen for the far right wing rhetoric but they almost certainly don’t constitute a majority that would enable this tactic to actually succeed.

This just adds to the long list of activities that people are carrying out that do nothing to improve the quality of life. Marketing people; people that study consumer complacency; political psychologists and pollsters that study how to manipulate people ;Copyright attorneys that do more to control the access to educational materials than they do to provide them; as well as other attorneys that charge enormous fees to control the distribution of wealth; lobbyists; propagandist and more all do a lot of work to increase the profits for the richest members of society without doing much if anything to improve the quality of life for the majority.
The workers that provide goods or services that do improve the quality of life often get paid much less and are subject to abuse in sweatshops. If we could stop paying all these people big money to do work that is basically designed to manipulate the majority for the benefit of the elite then we could find a way to provide more incentives for those that improve the quality of life as I indicated in the Semi-secret Fundamentals of Economics.

Judging by their recent activities, the corporations or at least a powerful segment at the top, may want to eliminate the last remains of democracy in this country.

They can’t!

It's Half Time at Occupy Wall Street and the corporate propagandists think you’re stupid enough to believe that this child is the one that is trying to destroy our country by stealing your job.


The opening and closing pictures and comments were partially in response to the Debbie Spenditnow super bowl ad that raised an enormous amount of protest about the bigotry that was blatantly implied by this ad. The Actress who starred in it has apologized for her role in this ad. this is a partial acknowledgment of the problem at best but it only addresses a small segment of the problem and the rest has gone virtually unacknowledged. The Mass Media spent very little time addressing this apology and none addressing the fact that the corporate community is using globalization as a method to force the workers to compete with each other around the world so that the lowest standards win in many cases, while the corporations no longer have to compete and the consumers get inferior merchandise.

This ad has been withdrawn by its original producers due to the fact that it backfired so bad which is all the more reason that it should be kept available to the public to expose the propaganda that is being used to attempt to indoctrinate the public. Fortunately it is still available for those that want to expose this.

The fact that this ad and other propaganda activities is scapegoating minorities is only part of the problem. It does play on prejudices and it does put the blame where it doesn’t belong but no one apologized for the fact that all advertising in our current economy is deceptive and that the expense of these ads is passed on to the consumer. Current advertising is designed to guarantee that the consumer has no access to accurate information about the products that they buy and that they have to pay for the lies that are told to them, since this is a business expense that is automatically passed on to the customer, to add insult to injury. The first amendment now gives the corporations the right to lie but it doesn’t give the consumer that ultimately pays for that lie any influence in the system or the ads that they pay for.

Perhaps all people that participate in advertising that is designed to increase the amount of fraud being perpetrated on the public should apologize and we should abandon this system that forces consumers to base all their shopping decisions on lies. 

The first amendment is now used almost entirely to protect only the most powerful which is exactly what it was intended to prevent.

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

Corporations are running the country, as you said. I have little hope it will change any time soon. I didn't visit your links, but I assume you know about the Apple sweatshops in Asia where nets are installed around the perimeters of buildings to prevent further suicides. Workers also have to sign a contract promising that they will not commit suicide on the job site. Horrendous.

Erica K February 10, 2012 03:02 PM

We need a global labor movement to put an end to these abuses.

Bob Simpson February 10, 2012 07:57 PM

Quid pro quo isn't a new Chinese Egg roll!

scanner February 10, 2012 08:04 PM

The other thing the corporate media is concealing from us is the impending attack on Iran. There is a reason why US troops contribute more to antiwar candidate Ron Paul's campaign than all other candidates combined: they have been participants in Austere Challenge 12, Theater Iran Near Term, Global Strike 2003, Vigilant Shield 07, and Concept Plan 8022. These are all the war games rehearsing the air and ground attack on Iran.

Obama's October Surprise will be a little false flag provocation in the Strait of Hormuz - that why we have stationed all the warships there, along with the 9,000 troops in Israel and 15,000 troops in Kuwait.

Michel Chossuduvsky lays it all out in this great interview on Guns and Butter:

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall February 10, 2012 10:32 PM

First of all I added a little breaking news to the article near the bottom about paying Occupy Wall Street protestors; it includes an article that forgets to mention the paid busing in of Tea Party protestors.

Erica, actually I’m not completely up to date on that one although I have heard a little about it; this is just one of many examples of what they’re doing. Naomi Klein wrote about many other similar instances and there are almost certainly many more that aren’t being reported on. Many of these companies wouldn’t care about suicides unless it interferes with productivity or public relations.

Bob, agreed and election reform, more educational opportunities and a diverse media.

Scanner, the Supreme Court will never believe you unless the corporations tell them to.

Stuart, I‘m sure your right or close; as indicated in a previous post I thought they might be building up their fear mongering tactics when they ran that story about an alleged attempt on the Saudi ambassador that didn’t make sense for one reason or another, although I can’t remember the details off the top of my head. This might help them maintain power in the short run but it will come at such a huge cost that it will dramatically escalate the collapse of our society if we continue putting all our resources into counterproductive activities like a permanent state of war based on lies.

Thanks all.

zacherydtaylor February 11, 2012 11:35 AM

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